Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 18, 2018

Counterdrug Programs Come With Increased Drug Production - Where Does The Money Go?

Two reports published today point to some curious phenomenon. Immensely expensive U.S. counter-narcotics efforts go along with massive increases in drug production.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report Counternarcotics: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan finds:

From fiscal year (FY) 2002 through FY 2017, the U.S. government spent roughly $8.62 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan.
From 2002 to 2017, Afghan opium poppy cultivation soared.
In 2002, cultivation estimates ranged from 31,000 to 74,000 hectares, compared to 328,000 hectares in 2017. Opium production also rose to historic levels, from approximately 3,400 metric tons in 2002 to roughly 9,000 metric tons in 2017. No counterdrug program undertaken by the United States, its coalition partners, or the Afghan government resulted in lasting reductions in poppy cultivation or opium production.


The Washington Post reports on the newly installed U.S. stooge in Colombia: A conservative ‘D.C. Colombian’ wins his country’s presidency":

BOGOTA, Colombia — Conservative Ivan Duque captured Colombia’s presidency Sunday, bringing to power a U.S.-educated 41-year-old whose victory promises an aggressive new era in the drug war and could upend a historic peace deal that ended Latin America’s longest running insurgency.
Duque’s win could herald a return to more forceful tactics. The United States has spent $10 billion in two decades fighting coca growth here — only to find it higher now than at the launch of the campaign.

Since its creation the CIA was involved in drug production and trafficking. In many cases this appears to have been a 'side effect' of other operations like running the rightwing 'Contras' against a leftish government in Nicaragua. The contras needed money which drug smuggling provided. The CIA helped along to achieve the 'higher purpose' - the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government. I am not aware of any sound evidence that shows that the CIA reaped financial profits from drug dealing.

There is no such excuse for counternarcotics programs. There is no 'higher purpose' to be achieved. But the sums spent on these programs are so big now, and their effect so counterproductive, that one must assume that the money is not used as intended. Layers of contractors will be involved in crop eradication programs in Afghanistan and elsewhere. These may cost a few millions per year. But the effects are so minor that one can not imagine how several billions of dollars get spent on them.

I find no accounting for these programs. Where does all that money go? Who is profiting from these?

Posted by b on June 18, 2018 at 17:18 UTC | Permalink


Chemtrails and other black budget financing..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 18 2018 17:23 utc | 1

thanks b... the speculation has always been in my mind anyway - that the money is controlled by the cia... covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes...

Posted by: james | Jun 18 2018 17:30 utc | 2

b wrote: "I am not aware of any sound evidence that shows that the CIA reaped financial profits from drug dealing."

Define 'sound evidence, b... For some, it's a kilo of stash; for others (like myself), it's suffice with the testimony of (suicided) insiders, like Gary Webb (RIP).

Posted by: LXV | Jun 18 2018 17:47 utc | 3

james @ 2 said:" covert money for covert projects and on and on it goes..."

Yes, and what they don't spend on "projects", goes to their minions and sycophants..

Posted by: ben | Jun 18 2018 18:06 utc | 4

The Taliban curtailed the poppy growing without any problem. Shortly after the US invasion under the guise of capturing OBL. Almost 18 years later, long after the death of OBL (in reality and in US military BS) the poppy production has increased exponentially. There are Pics of US military personnel walking through poppy fields.
Other than drug production there is no need for the US to be in Afghanistan except maybe to use it as a launching platform to attack Iran. Drugs are an excellent source for funding black ops.
Not only is the US allowing the production, considering how easy it would be for them to kill the crops, and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West.

Posted by: ken | Jun 18 2018 18:16 utc | 5

150000$ toilet seats of course

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jun 18 2018 18:31 utc | 6

AmeriKKKa's Wars on Alcohol & Drugs were just as Fake as the Fake War On Terror, and probably reward the same "well-connected" people. One pleasant aspect of being well-connected to the government (i.e. owning it and deciding who can and can't be a politician) is that you can then arrange for the Drug Control Agencies to be looking the wrong way when a big shipment is in transit. But the juiciest aspect is that nobody expects Tax to be collected on illegal profits and therefore the Gross Profit is also the Net Profit.

Anecdotally, Michael Moore's Mockumentary "Where To Invade Next" includes a visit to a country (Spain if memory serves) which has legalised any and every drug. The Authorities claim that the Social Benefits of scrubbing Drug Crime from the Statutes far outweigh the downside. And the downside was much milder than anticipated.

AmeriKKKa's Drug Laws are primarily intende to keep the Privately Owned Prisons full of long-term inmates @ $30,000+ per prisoner per year.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 18 2018 18:42 utc | 7

Another way the missing drug war billions could be spent is by money laundering via Wall Street. The Federal Reserve has been giving money away to the large financial institutions for years. Very little of that money is being invested in manufacturing. That kind of investment in made from retained earnings of the corporations themselves. The conventional wisdom is that the Fed's money goes to stock buy-backs, dividends, bonuses and executive pay, and vulture style takeovers. It could be some of that free money goes to Goldman, etc., and then on to fund intelligence
community mischief.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jun 18 2018 19:00 utc | 8

I was once afraid the governments would get rid of cash. Now I know they CAN'T and they WON'T.
The only way they can hide the money they get from all these drugs is through cash transactions.
The corruption in the USA isn't like the primitive kind like we have in Latin America, it's BIG numbers and real money.
The corrupt don't use their money for another country house, a yacht or some more jewelry for one of the many lovers.
The CIA set's up front companies, buy whole governments and set up wars.
You just don't surrender that type of power, you use and abuse it.
You fornicate it till u drop.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Jun 18 2018 19:02 utc | 9

"Michael Moore's Mockumentary "Where To Invade Next" includes a visit to a country (Spain if memory serves) which has legalised any and every drug. The Authorities claim that the Social Benefits of scrubbing Drug Crime from the Statutes far outweigh the downside. And the downside was much milder than anticipated."

I believe it was Portugal--close enough....We could do worse than to follow their example.

Posted by: R.A. | Jun 18 2018 19:15 utc | 10

b says the efforts appear counterproductive. Here is why:

If you understand the Afghan government as a narco state, then the fact that opium production has actually increased –while the U.S. spent billions on counternarcotics efforts and troop numbers surged – starts to make sense. A completely failed state – Afghanistan in 2001 – can't really thrive in the drug trade. Traffickers have no reason to pay off a toothless government or a nonexistent police force. In such a libertarian paradise, freelance actors – like Saleem, the heroin cook – flourish.

But as the government builds capacity, officials can start to demand a cut. It's not that there's a grand conspiracy at the center of government, but rather that, in the absence of accountability and the rule of law, officials start to orient themselves around a powerful political economy. Big drug barons with links to the government take over the trade. People who don't pay, or who fall out with government officials, might find themselves killed or arrested.

In this light, U.S. counternarcotics programs, which have cost nearly $8 billion to date, and the Afghan state-building project in general, are perversely part of the explanation for the growing government involvement in the drug trade. Even the newly rebuilt Afghan Air Force has been investigated by the U.S. military for alleged trafficking. In many places, the surge had the effect of wresting opium revenue from the Taliban and handing it to government officials. For example, in Helmand's Garmsir District, which sits on key trafficking routes between the rest of the province and Baramcha, a big Marine offensive in 2011 finally pushed out the Taliban and handed the district back to the Afghan government. The result? The police began taking a cut from those drug routes. "There are families, as in Mafia-style, that have the trade carved up between them, and when some outsider tries to get in on it, they serve him up as a success for drug interdiction," one Western official who worked in Garmsir told me.

I just luv-ed this next paragraph. Glad I wasn't sipping Coca Cola
while I read it. Would have chortled cola out my nose!

Here is government BS-speak at it's vacuous best (enjoy):

The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledged that there are no quick solutions at hand. "The U.S. interagency is developing an updated counternarcotics strategy for Afghanistan," says Jen Psaki, the State Department's spokeswoman. "These are long-term efforts that build the foundation for eventual reductions in opium harvests."

Posted by: librul | Jun 18 2018 19:16 utc | 11

@9....the same powers control the banking aspect as well.... not sure why one would suggest it can't be used in this manner.... just look at the bailouts that was HUGE money not cash..... where did it go?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jun 18 2018 19:18 utc | 12

Prohibition has no legal or moral legitimacy. We shouldn't be surprised that it is perverse. We should ask ourselves what have been the real reasons for these wicked laws that - even if legitimate in any way - wreck more lives than they could ever possibly save.

Posted by: paul | Jun 18 2018 19:50 utc | 13

Here's a thought: If the USG was truly interested in controlling opium production in Afghanistan it would simply use the counternarcotics money to buy up the crop directly from the farmers. The price at that level would be incredibly cheap compared to the "street value" of the drug. The farmers would happily sell to such a reliable buyer and not need to fear the risk of military interference. The current Afghan government would likely earn the goodwill of the farmers and it would cut off funding to the Taliban. It will never happen, however; because our military project in Afghanistan is mostly about enriching private military contractors while keeping the the "threat" of terrorism alive and well. War is a racket.

Posted by: Chris G | Jun 18 2018 20:04 utc | 14

b, have you read "Whiteout" by Alexander Cockburn (RIP) and Jeffrey St. Clair? It was written decades ago but is still relevant. I'm sure the CIA DOES make money from drugs although the CIA black books budget is so large they hardly need the cash. But one imagines it's nice to have a few millions completely out of government accountability--for lining their own pockets if nothing else.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jun 18 2018 20:08 utc | 15

I believe it was Portugal--close enough....We could do worse than to follow their example.
Posted by: R.A. | Jun 18, 2018 3:15:50 PM | 10

It was indeed Portugal. I've checked the doco and USING (and presumably possession of small quantities) has been decriminalised. If there are laws pertaining to supply they weren't mentioned.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 18 2018 20:08 utc | 16

I highly recommend Doug Valentine’s book, “CIA as Organized Crime.”

CIA Director William Colby gave him free access to interview CIA officials who had been involved in the Phoenix program in South Vietnam. Since all those CIA officers/agents had Colby’s blessing, they assumed Valentine was on their side. Oops!

Bottom line: There is ZERO difference between CIA and the Mafia. They are essentially one and the same, though they generally have different spheres of action. One upon which they overlap is drug production, smuggling and distribution.

I would add that there is ZERO difference between supra-national finance and the Mafia. For instance, the bank, HSBC was founded to launder opium money after Great Britain fought the Opium Wars forcing China to permit them to import opium into China. Former FBI Director and on again/off again hero of the partisans, James Comey left his career with the US Government to work for HSBC after they were finally fined for laundering cash from both drug smuggling and terrorist groups. His job was to help them “negotiate” the new “oversight” placed on the bank.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 18 2018 20:32 utc | 17

John Ehrlichman, who served as President Richard Nixon's domestic policy chief admitted back in 1994 that the "War on Drugs" was actually a political tool to crush leftist protesters and black people.

"We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 18 2018 20:37 utc | 18

I confess ! To have little knowledge on this subject but my nose for a important bit of info is twitching like hell !
'B' has placed it right there in his post!!!
I'v often wonderd how Isis funded it's whole set up ? I now they struck suspeclously lucky finding a massive arms dump that someone forgot to lock up. Plus apparently here in uk certain folk have a whip round for them. But seriously this what is funding Isis? Maybe through Pakistan. I meen we do know USA have aided and abetted Isis bombing support ect ect. Ok it's a hunch prompted by 'b'
But it calls to mind that disgusting triangle trade in history slaves-spices -exports from Britain
Could this be drugs for Isis arms curupt money.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 18 2018 21:09 utc | 19

Mike Ruppert was an associate of Gary Webb's, was a Los Angeles detective and knew a lot about the CIA's involvement in the Crips/Bloods Drug Wars and its massive importation of drugs into the nation. His investigation was used as his website URL, copvcia, although its name was From The Wilderness. Until 911, his investigation was his passion, then he discovered he had another and it was connected to the former. Here's a page many will want to view. It's hard not to reread the entire website. Unfortunately, Mike saved and only released much of the juicier evidence to his subscribers--he had to eke out a living in some manner.

The CIA is the planet's #1 Terrorist Organization, and it has all 3 types of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's often hard to determine which poses a greater threat to humanity: The CIA or its parent the Outlaw US Empire. If humanity's to have any chance at a viable future, both the CIA and its Imperial parent must be destroyed for their many crimes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2018 21:29 utc | 20

Seymore Hersh first (to my knowledge) first looked at CIA drug links when people exited buildings not using the stairs.
That CIA was experimenting with narcotics as a tool seemed to have metasticised into something else during the Air America years, which in turn seems to have morphed via Barry Seal (& Gary Webb's investigation)and the Cocaine Coyboys onward into Silk Airways (famed by weapons to Syria scandal) -
Whatever the post WWII period there seems to be a airline moving illicit product(s) across borders and a rouge militia force hook up. While powder is not as convertable as say Bitcoin, it leaves no paper trail.
Good luck with the research - its a long dark deep rabbit hole, leading to many fingers in many pies.

Posted by: Ornot | Jun 18 2018 21:49 utc | 21

karlof1... and of course, Mike Rupert was another "suicide" like Gary Webb. People close to Mike do say he suffered from depression and could well have actually committed suicide, as opposed to "being suicided" by two bullets to the head like Gary.

Great links, Ornot also.

Anecdotally, I used to "see" a girlfriend of the late and very great folk/protest singer/songwriter, Phil Ochs. It was through him that I first heard about CIA smuggling heroin into the US. And that was 1968. Phil was a fascinating character who also suicided after publicly saying he was really a CIA agent who had killed the leftist Phil Ochs. Some believe he may have been a MK ULTRA type of Manchurian Candidate who was programed to infiltrate leftists by actually becoming one, with no knowledge of the CIA persona. Then, his CIA persona would be activated, and since he had full recollection of the leftist Phil's activities, could give detailed reports.

I don't know. But I do know that he wrote and performed some of the most amazing music of his genre, but never got the commercial backing of a Bob Dylan or Joan Baez.

His "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" is brilliant, and though you'd have to update the "alternative" publications he cites, it's just as relevant today.

He was perhaps best known for the anti-war "I Ain't Marchin' No More."

"The War is Over" is fascinating. It was the inspiration for the John Lennon/Yoko Ono campaign.

Phil died early and strangely, which makes his "When I'm Gone" all the more touching.

But perhaps the most prescient or radical or analytical is "Crucifixion." This is an early, live performance. He sang this song a cappella to RFK when they, by chance met on an airplane. RFK went to the back of the plane and wept.

But the version as released in 1967 is hauntingly avant-garde/psychedelic or something... unlike anything else. Beautiful beyond words yet discordant beyond imagining.

Here's Neil Young paying tribute to Phil with "Changes."

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 18 2018 22:23 utc | 22

Back in 2002, when the poppy production too off, the idea of flooding Russia was in vogue, it may still be in the game. Transit through Iran to Turkey was also in play. Money laundering started out in "Polish Zlotys", through the banks there. Addicts were given small sums to deposit in the banks, by the thousands, which didn't draw attention. A lot of the money was sent to the U.S. to buy "American Muscle Cars", which were then shipped back to the E.U. and resold again. Pakistan was also a transit country where the "Labs" were first set up to process the opium to heroin. How time fly's when having fun. Addiction to "drugs" isn't the only addiction nor the addicts involved either. Only one leaf in the book of the minds of those who believe they are doing the right thing.

Posted by: Eugene | Jun 18 2018 22:36 utc | 23

@ Daniel with his OT comment about Phil Ochs

I had everything Phil Ochs produced. His songs and poetry were amazing. After he died I had to give it all away....too depressing

His song "Outside a small circle of friends" is the one I still sing to myself sometimes.

Thanks for the memories....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 18 2018 22:40 utc | 24

psychohistorian. I couldn't listen to any of Phil's music for years after his "suicide" either. But about a decade ago, I stumbled across an album in the back of one of my stacks, and gave it a listen.

I've been reliving his incredible art with some frequency ever since.

BTW: for any who make it to that second version of "Crucifixion," please note that Phil was recording this at the same time the Beatles were making "Strawberry Fields."

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 18 2018 22:51 utc | 25

I presume much of that counternarcotics money ends up being cash in hand to thousands of foot-soldiers working for local warlords in Afghanistan as farmers, security personnel, soldiers, prostitutes and what-not, in a way similar to how part of Victoria Nuland's $5 billion investment in Ukraine ended up as cash incentives to entice people from as far as Lvov to travel to Kiev to participate in the Maidan demonstrations over the winter of 2013 / 2014.

Also a big portion of the counternarcotics dosh must be going to teams of people digging up and burning opium and also to teams of people planting new opium seeds in the areas where the first lot of opium was eradicated later on. Similar to stories people used to hear about what supposedly happened during the 1930s Great Depression, when teams of people were employed to dig ditches and then other teams of people were employed to fill up the ditches which would be dug up again at a later time.

This in addition to the billions being used to buy weapons, train and send jihadists to fight in other parts of western and central Asia, and line people's pockets at every stage of the drug money trail whether in Afghanistan, Wall Street or various tax havens around the planet.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 18 2018 22:54 utc | 26

@22 This thread could go deep into the rabbit hole.. Springmeier anyone?

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 18 2018 23:05 utc | 27

reply to:
".. and IMHO it as also assisting in the transportation of drugs to the West."
Posted by: ken | Jun 18, 2018 2:16:06 PM | 5
And to the east, I remember reading that one of the first things the US did was to build a bridge and highway towards the east; shortly thereafter,heroin flooded into Russia.

Posted by: frances | Jun 18 2018 23:06 utc | 28

The level of US "counter-narcotic" investment seems to be about right to support the GROWTH of the narcotics industry...not the otherway around...its black and its dirty



Posted by: oldenyoung | Jun 18 2018 23:08 utc | 29

Every comment on this post is like a fine champagne of reality. how do people get by with out wanting to know the truth. keep the comments coming I need more! Brilliant links. The doors of perception just opened for me. Who the hell runs our TVs stations that they can turn a blind I to this lot.
I to find great strength in music, to find the truth. For me it is reggae any group in society that has sufferd what we discuss on this site for 300 years, but have survived got stronger and put it to music, I feel needs listening to!!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 18 2018 23:14 utc | 30

Daniel @22--

Those close to Mike think his suicide genuine; I agree; he just couldn't get out from the massive Gibraltar sized rock of depression that weighed him down. I told him he was the only good cop I ever met. The Outlaw US Empire has long used drugs as an instrument of control, alcohol then heroin being the first 2; as a part of foreign policy, Turkish opium was the choice of weapon during the US Chapter of the Opium Wars with China--another part of US History airbrushed from the history books. Significant evidence exists for profits from its opium trade being a major factor in the solvency of the British Empire. This is a good review of the events. The British were just as full of hubris and greed as current US Imperialists and didn't give a damn how they gained their silver. Some know part of the motivation on the part of China's leadership since 1949 is to exact revenge for the massive humiliation suffered as a result of the Opium Wars.

One of Mike's frustrations shared by myself and many is the public's ignorance of current and past events of importance--but what really sets us off is the not wanting to know, not caring about the heinous crimes committed in our name with our monies: the reveling in one's ignorance in a hubristic manner. "Why don't people want to know what's being done to them?" was and remains a very disheartening mantra. It was enough to get Mike to pull his own trigger. It was also enough for someone to give Wikileaks a thumb drive with DNC data and emails that have yet to be put to the use for which they were intended, just as with Mike's evidence of CIA's industrial level of illegal drug importation. As he noted on his website, Congress itself was as corrupt as the CIA, and still is. Sigh!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2018 23:40 utc | 31

The "War on Drugs" was conceived to put black people in jail en masse as Jim Crow came to an end. Nixon's aides admitted this. Read "The New Jim Crow" for the full story. Marijuana laws were first introduced in the early 20th century as a tool to arrest and deport Mexicans from the American southwest. Google it.

The bullshit "War on Drugs" is as phony as the bullshit "War on Terror" in the wake of 3 skyscrapers that were demolished and collapsed at freefall speed.

The real money is to be made in the bullshit wars spawned by these 2 hoaxes that boggle the mind in their scope.

Basically, these two cornerstones of American domestic and foreign policy are frauds of biblical proportions.

An empire built on these foundations will come crashing down as fast as WTC 7 on the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

Posted by: Daniel Bruno | Jun 18 2018 23:51 utc | 32

"O my, cocaine" is an anagram of "CIA economy".

Various Contra-cocaine type operations of un/controlled shipments of drugs existed in the early 1990s, some of which existed in order to arm Bosnia (local fighters and foreign mujahideen), thereby undermining the UN's arms embargo of former Yugoslav states.

Between 1988 and 1992, 22 tons of cocaine was brought into the US via Venezuela by a team consisting of Mark McFarlin (head of the CIA's counter-narcotics center), Jim Campbell (the CIA's chief of station in Venezuela) and General Guillén (head of the Venezuelan National Guard in the pre-Chavez era).
Anti-Drug Unit of C.I.A. Sent Ton of Cocaine to U.S. in 1990

At roughly the same time Albanian mobsters had built a heroin smuggling network for the purpose of illegally supplying arms to the Bosnian mujahideen.
Drugs Paying for Conflict in Europe

In the summer of 1991, Dutch drug lord Klaas Bruinsma, who had connections with members of the Dutch elite (corporate and royal), the Colombian Cali cartel and the Yugoslav mafia, was assassinated by either former cop Martin Hoogland (possibly working for intelligence), or the Yugoslav mobster Branco Marianovic. In that same summer, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 713 (the Yugoslav arms embargo), and soon after elements within Dutch customs and police, in cooperation with Bruinsma's business heirs/infiltrators, started the controlled shipment of large amounts of cocaine (estimated 25,000 kilo) and hashish (estimated 500,000 kilo) under the name "Operation Delta". The customs officials involved in Operation Delta were most likely protected by their boss Fred Teeven, later rewarded by given the job of State Secretary for Security and Justice. Mabel Wisse-Smit, daughter of a top banker (possibly drug money launderer) and future sister-in-law of the current Dutch king, was first the lover of drug lord Bruinsma (until his assassination, possibly she was sent to spy on him) and then the lover of Wall St. banker Mohamed Sacirbey (Bosnia's ambassador to UN in 1992, Bosnia's foreign minister in 1995). Wisse-Smit (later a George Soros protégé) co-founded the Dutch charity foundation War Child, which was used as a cover for arms lobbying during the Bosnia war, and she is reported by Bosnian media to have been involved in a specific arms deal with Egypt.

Posted by: 0use4msm | Jun 19 2018 0:35 utc | 33

Alfred W. McCoy is the authority on drugs and CIA.

He's still doing great work, publishing books.

His first, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia is a classic.

His latest, In the Shadows of the American Century, is brilliant analysis.

Some videos on youtube, also.

He has traveled, researched every ratline trail and outpost all over the globe.
Read him if you want the real facts.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 19 2018 0:41 utc | 34

@22 Daniel

Many thanks for those links.

Posted by: les7 | Jun 19 2018 1:12 utc | 35

It's good to know so many are well informed on this. I've read Rupert/Webb's stuff and have Dark Alliance. There's a good movie/documentary out there about Webb but I can't recall the name right now. Levine wrote about his undercover work in South American being thwarted by the CIA. And Bo Gritz was trying to set up a deal where the US would buy up Khun Sa's opium before it could be distributed but the USG wasn't interested. The amazing thing about the Afghan ramp up in supply was seeing pictures of US soldiers patrolling in the middle of poppy fields. Meanwhile at home, congress takes bribes (lobbying efforts) to help protect the legal drug pushers from prosecution by the DEA shoving millions of pills across the country. A friend's term for this kind of thing is "racket science."

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 19 2018 1:44 utc | 36

@36 "Kill the messenger" with Jeremy Renner..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 19 2018 1:56 utc | 37

Red Ryder@34

Yeah, his updated edition is a must read. They do not handle the money directly, they let the guerillas/rebels/revolutionaries handle that as a reward and provide protection from legal authorities and access to markets using various agencies and mafia at both ends of the supply-distribution chain. The dollars from the drugs pay for the weapons and support. The profits go into nameless offshore Eurodollar accounts which then flow into London and Wall Street as eurodollar loans in many multiples of the deposits (not to be confused with the euro) to speculate in various markets and drive up asset prices. When the Taliban shut down opium production we had the crash (coincidence?). 100 billion a year can generate 1 trillion in dollars for speculators, and that was sorely missed (along with Clinton running a surplus instead of a deficit)

There is so much evidence that in many places where they were or are engaged that drug flows in the region increased and production increased in those areas known for growing the stuff. Like any organization only those with a need to know have an idea and the majority are clean and without information

Posted by: Pft | Jun 19 2018 1:59 utc | 38

While we are discussing history of the War on Drugs another example of a major consumer organization (at the time of print) being turned into a vacuous shell....

Licit and Illicit Drugs is a 1972 book on recreational drug use by medical writer Edward M. Brecher and the editors of Consumer Reports.

The WIkipedia summary
The book describes the effects and risks of psychoactive drugs which were common in contemporary use for recreational and nonmedical purposes.[2] The New York Times paraphrased some major arguments from the book, saying "'Drug-free' treatment of heroin addiction almost never works", "Nicotine can be as tough to beat as heroin", and "Good or bad, marijuana is here to stay. The billions spent to fight it are wasted dollars."[3] The book identifies marijuana as the most popular drug after tobacco, alcohol, and nicotine.[4] A reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association summarized it by saying that "Brecher holds that the division of drugs into licit and illicit categories is medically irrational and rooted mainly in historical and sociological factors."[5]

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 19 2018 2:11 utc | 39

karlof1. Amazing that you knew Mike. And yes, the willful ignorance is horribly frustrating.

The way I see it, almost all "Westerners" are willfully ignorant. We all must know that the only way we live to the "standards" we do is because of the plunder of both our colonial past and neoliberal present. But most choose to look aside.

For those who haven't seen it, please spend 17 minutes to see Mallence Bart-Williams give an incredible talk.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 19 2018 2:52 utc | 40

Mike Ruppert - of hallowed memory - was always clear that one of the main reasons for the US aggression against Afghanistan was to restart and oversee the opium-poppy agriculture. One of the - real - 'successes' of their - real - war-aims.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Jun 19 2018 7:27 utc | 41

As ken pointed out (comment 5), the Taliban had all but halted opium production when they ruled the country. They did so because that was their intent. Obviously, such is not the intent of the US military. It's possible some of this is funding the CIA, but more likely, I think, that it's being stockpiled as a military asset. Throughout these years of record poppy crops, heroin addiction has dramatically increased in many of the countries to the north, notably in Russia. This can account for some of the overproduction, but there are likely huge stockpiles secretly held at certain US bases, certainly in Afghanistan, but by now perhaps all over the world. The money spent has fueled corruption in Afghanistan to a significant degree, and probably a fair portion of it has gone directly to the farmers and landowners who produce the opium. In other words, the intended result is exactly the opposite of the stated purpose.

Posted by: Justin | Jun 19 2018 7:36 utc | 42


I disagree its willfull ignorance on the part of Americans or that its limited to Americans

On both sides of the Atlantic the averge person has been subjected to propaganda to a degree never seen in history. From the education system, entertainment and news its a 24/7 thing. There is no escape. Even alt news on the internet is mostly propaganda that just stretches the envelope compared to MSM but never touched on the important stuff

At the same time livings standard are declining for the bottom 90%. People work more to just survive, and those that dont work eneternpoverty, depression and escape with alcohol and drugs that destroy brian cells. Under neoliberalnpolicies thenplunder of other nations does not trickle down to them.

Some of us escape the matrix, or think we do for reasons having to do with fortune or luck, or maybe misfortune and bad luck since one day we may all be disappeared

Some people think too much in national terms. This is a global effort orcestrated by the financial elite and they have been at it for at least a couple of centuries if not millennium. They are the philospher kings and time is not a problem for them. They are content to do their part and have their desendants finish the job.

The lack of empathy among the bottom 90% has much to do with the corruption of religion and propaganda that teaches hate and division. Its sad to see what we have become. I am glad my time is coming to an end sooner rather than later. Feel bad for the young though.

Posted by: Pft | Jun 19 2018 8:08 utc | 43

Alfred McCoy is seconded. A fascinating read in many respects is Henrik Kruger, "The Great Heroin Coup". I also recommend Michael Levine's books.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Jun 19 2018 8:31 utc | 44

A really good summary of the failure of the war on drugs was written by Nick Evans in the Guardian as long ago as 2001. As your report points out the failure continues. It will do so until politicians believe there are no votes to be had by appearing to be tough on drugs.

Posted by: Cam | Jun 19 2018 8:38 utc | 45

And then there's the 'follow the money' principal. All ready discussed here, but i'l eat my hat if those off shore tax havens did'nt play a major part in all of this. You can't hide that sort of money under the mattress. What would show up in the Panama papers ect ? Also not sure about USA but uk had a law called 'proceeds of crime' is all that money beyond recovery? Put to good use imagine the problems it could solve. Instead of paying for terrorist arms, through the back door! But first we would need politicians with integrity and a non curupt media.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 19 2018 9:04 utc | 46

Cee I A pushing dope and making hay® John Lennon

Posted by: Paco | Jun 19 2018 9:38 utc | 47

It is simple. Colombia and Afghanistan are in a state of civil war. You get the money for doing that via weapons and drug traffic. So much that there is a war economy with vested interests in the continuation of the civil war.

CIA would protect the drug traffickers of their side and fight the drug traffickers from the other side of the civil war.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 19 2018 10:30 utc | 48

Somebody @ 49
Ah that simple! So which side am I on ? That's where it starts getting complicated !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 19 2018 10:55 utc | 49

I'm sure the money from drugs is a bonus to the black ops folks involved... but the reason the CIA and the world's other alphabet soup secret societies are involved in the drug trade is because the drug trade is full of people ready and willing to do the bidding of anyone with money.

Drug dealers live in a parallel world and most practice a degree of spy craft trying to blend with the rest of the population where they live... they have contacts with people who do things society doesn't approve of and it's pretty easy for someone like that to be put into a compromised position.

It's a win-win relationship for the spooks and the dealers... and when a dealer becomes too big for his/her britches it's easier to have the local police take care of them, and if that doesn't work, well drug dealers shoot each other all the time (so we're to believe).

The end game for the elite is simple, create chaos. And drug dealing spies have got to be the murderous clown car in this circus... think of the the energy spent by bureaucracies (both the drug dealers and all those 'against' them) fighting each other.

The world will eventually end - not with a bang, but from drowning in too much bureaucracy. Solzhenitsyn's book "The Gulag Archipelago" made me realize this. We ask ourselves who would do the evil deeds dictators and other mad men desire? A bureaucrat.

“But it is impossible to picture any of our interrogators, right up to Abakumov and Beria, wanting to slip into prisoner's skin even for one hour, or feeling compelled to sit and meditate in solitary confinement.

Their branch of service does not require them to be educated people of broad culture and broad views - and they are not. Their branch of service does not require them to think logically - and they do not. Their branch of service requires only that they carry out orders exactly and be impervious to suffering - and that is what they do and what they are. We who have passed through their hands feel suffocated when we think of the legion, which is stripped bare of universal human ideals.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Posted by: DaveS | Jun 19 2018 13:03 utc | 50

The war on drugs has always been about allowing the 1% elite make money from, well, from selling drugs they control the manufacture and distribution of - mainly opoids and alcohol sold by government approved drug dealers. The fact the news of the rise of opium production in Afghanistan is not being widely covered by the corporate media - after all, it's been known about for more than a decade - suggests it is in the interests of the powers that be. The banking conglomerate HSBC was founded on the opium wars of China. The letters stand for The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. They backed enslaving the Chinese population to opium in the 19th century. But, unreformed, they haven't given up facilitating drug dealing on a massive sale. In 2012 they were fined a paltry amount (by their standards) for being involved in a massive drug-laundering operation.

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | Jun 19 2018 14:18 utc | 51

Perhaps opioids from plants are on the way out? This article seems to think synthetic products are going to radically change the illegal drug market.

Posted by: dh | Jun 19 2018 14:39 utc | 52

Pft @44--

Unfortunately, the problem of not being capable of independent or critical thinking goes back quite a long ways. Recently, Reuters conducted a poll on this subject, which was then analyzed and further written about under the title "Poll shows Americans don’t think for themselves." Strikingly similar observations were previously made dating back to the observations by Jefferson cited in the second linked item followed by Alexis de Tocqueville in his Democracy in America, then in Kamen's 1973 History Pulitzer Prize winning People of Paradox. The last book I'll cite is DeMott's The Imperial Middle: Why Americans Can’t Think Straight about Class, although I could add a host of others that discuss the issue but don't make it the central part of their discourse. One of the reasons why I changed careers to become a teacher was to try and do what I could to rectify what is clearly a crisis level in the ability to think and reason critically, to not take events at facevalue (what we're told by the MSM), and to have enough confidence to ask the tough questions about "hate and death and war," as the Moody Blues put in in Question.

The 19th century's Populist Movement proved beyond doubt that impoverished farmers could overcome their deficits of learning and formal education and generate a political force essentially through their own will as they lacked every modern means of communication we take for granted today plus the lack of money for organizing. Why? Because it was clearly in their interest to combine together to overcome the political forces controlling their wellbeing. They taught themselves Solidarity. Certainly, the plethora of modern distractions are meant to deter the formation of Solidarity; but if I can see and understand that, why can't the masses in the middle?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19 2018 15:18 utc | 53

It is said that the drugs trafficking from Afghanistan only, done through NATO bases and diplomat movements, amounts to Billions.
The whole US opioid industry relies on the heroin production there.US has labs producing high quality stuff in Afghanistan.
But this may be in jeopardy now with the realignment of Pakistan toward OBOR.
I think that US will be soon booted out of Afghanistan.
Maybe that's why Columbia was captured again, also it can not replace Afghanistan.
PS: for those interested I have two new posts, one about Bolton and one about making fun of the Empire on my site.
Today I will publish Zarif’s portrait, Iran's PM.

I am working on a comparison between Obama and the Donald that I will probably publish this week.
I also published 32 pictures after my oil and acrylic paintings, for who is interested.

Posted by: veritas semper vincit | Jun 19 2018 15:46 utc | 54

"I am not aware of any sound evidence that shows that the CIA reaped financial profits from drug dealing."

As Webb exposed and as mentioned above, the CIA did sell crack cocaine into the East LA market in particular did profit and used the profits in Nicaragua. It amazes me that thousands of tons of opium can be shipped out of a zone occupied by the US military, in a country controlled by the US and with extensive CIA activities including drone capabilities without their knowledge. Must be a super villain like The Joker to pull it off.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jun 19 2018 17:07 utc | 55

”The United States has spent $10 billion in two decades fighting coca growth here . . .”

Except that the US does not fight coca growth. It fights to force coca growers and distributors to launder their cash receipts through US banks and equity houses. Those who go elsewhere with their cash find their fields drenched with poisons.
”I am not aware of any sound evidence that shows that the CIA reaped financial profits from drug dealing.”

If you mean just in Nicaragua, then perhaps, but take a look at this astonishing, extensive report:

as well as a whole raft of reports on the CIA and Afghan heroin:

one here –

and several here –

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 19 2018 17:54 utc | 56

I'm just going to add a link or 2 I should have included in the orignal comment posted.

My reasons for focus on the Airlines and the operational costs and the IATA regulations demands a certain amount of public record keeping. Locations, dates, cargo manifest (even if falsified) all tell Metadata stories. Operating costs should become clearer, ditto shell games and Azerbijan interest by State Dept players should start to be revealed.

go steady b it's Jackel territory.

Posted by: Ornot | Jun 19 2018 20:49 utc | 57

the biggest drug that we are all guilty of is oil.

now look at how they manipulate that industry.

what do they really need with the oil?

1. make sure the dollar flows back. (can be in many forms, interests, transaction fees)
2. make sure you are dependent on them. (oil embargo/speculation)

now let's take a look at pablo...... he didn't make sure the dollar flows back. he made sure usa was dependent on him........ he fought against these forces of by using their tactics just out in the open. no glory for either side.

they say, "the accumulation of money is filled with the stench of death and paid for in blood. the higher in the chain the more you need to have others killed."

Posted by: jason | Jun 19 2018 20:53 utc | 58

It would seem fairly obvious that the US military is essentially guarding the Afghan opium crop so that the CIA can sell it. I submit that the current heroin epidemic in the USA is no accident.

Let's recall that the two biggest businesses in the world are the arms trade and the drug trade. Says a lot about humanity, doen't it?

Posted by: Lord Koos | Jun 19 2018 22:39 utc | 59

Thanks for the links, AntiSpin. The authors of the CounterPunch article cite what they rightly call Douglas Valentine’s brilliant book, The Phoenix Program, but they don’t mention his follow-up CIA As Organized Crime which details CIA’s involvement in drug production, smuggling and distribution starting from shortly after its creation in 1947.

And CIA had to work with the US Bureau of Narcotics, which itself was involved in the illicit drug trade from its founding in the 1930s. Just as DEA does today. In Colombia, a deal was worked out where the government would pay coca farmers to switch to other crops. The subsidies were financed by the US. But as Abby Martin documented recently, the government didn’t really pay those farmers, but instead slaughtered thousands of them. This was clearly yet another program to eliminate the competition to the CIA drug business.

I really do recommend that book. Another disturbing main point of the book is that tactics of the Phoenix Program are being run in the US against any who dissent right now.

More of Abby’s Empire Files coverage from Colombia:

Empire Files: Human Rights Hypocrisy - Colombia vs. Venezuela

Empire Files: Abby Martin vs. Colombian Congressman on Peace & Paramilitaries

Empire Files: In the Deadliest Country for Unions & Social Leaders

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 19 2018 22:55 utc | 60

Posted by: Lord Koos @59
"I submit that the current heroin epidemic in the USA is no accident."

Bingo! Stretch that out to "the opioid crisis" though. As FDR famously said, nothing in politics happens by accident.

Speaking of manufactured crises, what about the "Refugee Crisis?" Wars always create desperate refugees. Gaddafi warned Europe that he was the only thing preventing African economic refugees from seeking better lives in Europe.

Let me add this quote from Barbara Lerner Spectre, an American-born Jewish woman who "made Aliyah" to Israel and then moved to Sweden to work on teaching Europe to be multicultural.

Note: She said this in 2010, years BEFORE the "Refugee Crisis" or the wave of "anti-semitic" terrorist attacks. 

”I think there's a resurgence of anti-Semitism because at this point in time, Europe has not yet learned how to be multicultural. And I think we are going to be part of the throes of that transformation, which must take place. Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies that they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the center of that. It’s a huge transformation for Europe to make. They are now going into a multicultural mode, and Jews will be resented because of our leading role. But without that leading role, and without that transformation, Europe will not survive.”

Why was this New Jersey woman, who moved to Israel so concerned about Sweden being "saved" that she was willing to foster "anti-semitism" by going there to promote "multiculturalism" years before the waves of desperate refugees began arriving?

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 19 2018 23:14 utc | 61

is it really still open to debate that drugs are /have been/will be...brought into this country and protected by various operations of the government?

Iran contra settled that...or maybe just believe the 100;s of people testifying it is so....or look there are those never ending poppy fields only the coolies can find....banks?....who ever thought to look at the banks for drug commie liberal....more evidence that nothing ever changes but the people who type for the last 20 years about something that while obvious....only gets worst...

Posted by: jadez | Jun 20 2018 10:45 utc | 62

@ Dernando Arauxo #9

"I was once afraid the governments would get rid of cash. Now I know they CAN'T and they WON'T.
The only way they can hide the money they get from all these drugs is through cash transactions."

I sure like the petty tax evasion in Latin and Southeast Asian countries. People won't let go of cash.

Anglos and Europeans are easier to manage.

OTOH, FWIW, a source in the City of London, knowledgeable about I.T., said that BitCoin was developed by the CIA so they could move money around covertly for their various projects. At the time I heard this, I didn't even think of drugs. Just covert ops.

But this idea of moving dirty money could well be the inspiration. As the NWO screws the controls on international bank wires ever tighter, coming up with an alternative for illicit activities could well have inspired the CIA to create BitCoin.

So we get a 2-tier digital world. Controlled (for us), the Wild West (for them).

Posted by: BamBam | Jun 20 2018 11:37 utc | 63

Lord Koos @59: I submit that the current heroin epidemic in the USA is no accident.

They tell us that fentanyl is made in China. Yet despite a looming trade war, this "fact" has not been made an issue.

Dog that didn't bark?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2018 13:02 utc | 64

Essentially, they want to blame China unofficially (as cover) but not make it a political issue that China would respond to.

Trump has no problem mouthing off on twitter about all sorts of things, and has a policy of "maximum pressure" when negotiating with other countries, but "Chinese fentanyl" is officially ignored?

>> How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World

>> How China Could Hit the U.S. Where It Hurts

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2018 13:23 utc | 65

No mention of "Chinese fentanyl" in WH report on China's "economic aggression" or political reporting on trade war. Apparently the China threat doesn't include sales of fentanyl. Why? Because it would spark a discussion of where the illegal drugs actual come from?

Similarly, drug smuggling has stopped being discussed as part of US border concerns. MSM only wants to discuss Trump's immigration policy - and highlight the separation of family members (yet virtually no criticism of Obama for having had the SAME policy).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 20 2018 22:10 utc | 66

Years of observing the politics of counter-narcotics activities vis a vis production ratios to street prices contrasted with the type information in this article I have concluded that that "ckunter-narcotics" in the major growing countries is simply a lie and all that money along with the drug profits goes to a coterie of oligarchs world-wide as exposed by Danny Casalero.

Posted by: Gregory Nance | Jun 24 2018 17:05 utc | 67

Alfred W McCoy does have a long insight to guide us.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 25 2018 3:52 utc | 68

The comments to this entry are closed.